UW Combined Fund Drive

October 27, 2021

Violence Against Women: The “Shadow Pandemic”

On November 25th, the world recognizes International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.


The November 25th date was chosen to honor the Mirabal sisters, Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa. From the Dominican Republic, the sisters joined the resistance against dictator Rafael Trujillo, becoming influential voices in the rebellion. These revolutionary women knew the consequences they could face, such as imprisonment, kidnapping, and murder. On November 25, 1960, the three sisters’ car was ambushed by Trujillo’s men and they were all killed.

In 2000, the UN officially declared November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to honor the Mirabal sisters and pursue a path toward eradicating violence against women and girls worldwide. 

A Global Issue 

Violence against women happens every day around the world and is not just a public safety issue, but a human rights issue. According to the United Nations, 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. This has only intensified with the Covid-19 pandemic causing higher stress levels and often more time spent at home. 

Emerging data from the UN shows an increased number of calls to domestic violence helplines in many countries since the beginning of the pandemic. Women of every social class and in every country around the world face violence. Yet even with these staggering numbers, fewer than 40% report it or seek help.  

Unfortunately, domestic violence is just part of the issue when it comes to violence against women. Women and girls also account for 72% of human trafficking victims with more than 3 out of every 4 child trafficking victims being girls.

The majority of human trafficking results in sexual exploitation. 

Another reality for at least 200 million women and girls from the ages of 15-49 is the experience of female genital mutilation. This human rights violation has been condemned by the World Health Organization; however, 41 countries have no laws prohibiting it. While many gains have been made toward gender equality, the safety of women is still not guaranteed.  

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women  

As the UWCFD acknowledges that we live and work on the traditional territories of the Duwamish and Coast Salish peoples and occupy this land, it is also important to remember the violence against indigenous women. 

In the United States, more than 4 in 5 indigenous women experience violence in their lifetime. The U.S. Department of Justice found that the murder rate of indigenous women is 10 times higher than the national average. On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we remember the missing and murder indigenous women and well as women all over the world affected by violence and pledge to work for a safer and more equitable future.   

Ways to Recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women  

  • Educate yourself and those around you about domestic violence and other violence taken against women 
  • Check out this page from the UN on taking action against violence against women 
  • Wear the color orange in alliance with the Orange the World campaign to support ending violence against women 
  • Teach children the basics of healthy relationships breaking down rigid gender norms 
  • Follow local, national, and global campaigns to create laws and advocate for the rights of women (in Washington state, check out the WSCADV) 
  • Donate to groups that work to end violence against women or support survivors of violence 
  • Volunteer at your local domestic violence shelter 

National Domestic Violence Hotline:  

  • 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 
  • TTY: 1-800-787-3224 
  • Text “START” or 88788 

King County Sexual Assault Resource Center:  

  • Hotline: 888-998-6423 
  • En Español: 425-282-0324 


Consider making a  one-time contribution or setting up payroll deduction to one of our CFD member organizations working to combat violence against women and support survivors: 

National Domestic Violence Hotline (Charity Code 1481996): offers 24/7 support to help survivors of domestic violence 

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Charity Code 0316196): preventing domestic violence in Washington by creating new safe housing solutions, passing laws, and speaking up for children and families across the state 

Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (Charity Code 0316138): provides community education, and advocacy on system and policy issues while empowering Deaf and Deafblind sexual assault survivors 

New Beginnings (Charity Code 0315425): Offering domestic violence services like 24-hour help line, housing services, children’s services, legal advocacy, mental health/chemical dependency services, support groups, training, education, and dating violence prevention 

Eastside Legal Assistance Program (Charity Code 0456886): provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents through advice clinics, self-help workshops, full representation, the Domestic Violence Legal Fund, Client Plus, Wills Project, lectures and resource referrals  

Washington State Native American Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (Charity Code 0522060): serving 29 tribes in Washington state with technical assistance, consultation, and raising public awareness on issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and sex trafficking 

End Violence Against Women International (Charity Code 1478206): offers effective, victim-centered, multidisciplinary training and expert consultation regarding crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence  

Consejo Counseling and Referral Service (Charity Code 0337159): Latinx focused multi-service agency that works to transform, strength, and empower survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other programs 

Solid Ground (Charity Code 0316495): combines direct services with inclusive advocacy including emergency confidential temporary housing as well as 24 hour trauma-informed support services   

Family Law CASA (Charity Code 1480170): mission to increase safety for children in high-risk custody cases involving concerns of domestic violence, addiction, criminal activity, child abuse, neglect, or mental illness 

YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County (Charity Code 0320862) women’s empowerment agency attacking homelessness, domestic violence, unemployment, and poverty  

Futures without Violence (Charity Code 1480310): strategize to end domestic and sexual violence through innovative programs based on promoting respect, raising public awareness, training health and judicial professionals, and building new leaders globally.

  Contributed by UWCFD Campaign Assistant Kate Montebello
Kate Montebello is serving as one of the 2021 Combined Fund Drive Campaign Assistants. She graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Communications as well as a minor in both History and Peace & Justice.